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ERIC Number: ED521040
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 119
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-9644-9
An Examination of Motivation Levels in Graduate School Students
Hegarty, Niall
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services
In education, as in other realms of life, motivation plays a crucial role in the performance of students. Deci and Ryan's (1985) Self Determination Theory identified various types of motivation along a continuum from weakest to strongest. Yet, until recently, no reliable method existed to accurately measure the strength of motivation along this continuum. Vallerand et al. (1992) developed the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) as an instrument to measure Self Determination Theory. This theory identifies three levels of academic motivation--intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation. The AMS instrument has been used reliably to study and measure motivation levels in elementary, high school, and undergraduate university students. The results of these studies returned the finding of decreased intrinsic motivation with age. However, this instrument had yet to be applied to graduate students enrolled in a master degree program to examine whether or not the decrease in intrinsic motivation continues through to the graduate student level. This study was designed to test the validity of the AMS instrument in the application of Self-Determination Theory to graduate students. In applying the instrument to graduate students, this researcher sought to fulfill a present need in the motivation literature which is lacking research relevant to motivation in graduate students. This investigator also expanded previous research on motivation conducted at the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada (1992). The sample for this study consisted of 200 graduate students majoring in either education or business in a private, urban, university in the northeast United States. Results of this study demonstrate the consistency of the AMS measurement instrument and provide teaching recommendations in educating this population. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States